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Italy’s Entry in War Will Close Last Escape Road for Refugees, Washington Fears

The work of rescuing German refugees from Europe is virtually at a standstill as a result of the spread of the war, but the State Department is attempting to bring some order out of the chaotic state into which emigration plans have been thrown.

Government officials fear that the last avenue of escape for refugees will be cut off within a few days by the expected entry of Italy into the war. There may be some chance, they said, of bringing refugees out through Portugal, but this is contingent upon Spain’s neutrality, and even about this officials are not over-optimistic.

Ex-Premier Paul van Zeeland of Belgium, president of the Coordinating Foundation for Refugees, conferred with President Roosevelt today. As he left the White House he said he had come only to bid farewell to the President. “I am going back to enlist in the Army and fight for Belgium,” van Zeeland said.

He said he was not resigning his Coordinating Foundation post, but explained that he could not resume his duties until his active army service was over. He will leave on the Pan-American Clipper plane on Friday.